Introducing Queen’s Young Leaders Wen Shin, Haroon and Hassan
Each week we are introducing you to the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders, sharing their stories and celebrating the incredible work that they are doing in their communities. Take a look at last weeks post featuring Trisha Shetty from India, and Siva Nagappan Visvesvaran from Malaysia.
This week we are getting to know Wen Shin Chia from Malaysia, and Haroon Yasin and Hassan Mujtaba Zaidi from Pakistan.
Wen Shin from Malaysia
Wen is an environmentalist who uses innovation and entrepreneurship to tackle pollution in her country. In 2016 she founded Green Yards, which deters people from disposing of household oil down drains by offering them free soap in exchange for every 5kg of oil returned to them. This oil, which pollutes the water supplies, is instead recycled into eco-cleaning products and candles. In addition, Wen and her team organise community workshops to promote recycling. In just one year, Green Yards has prevented 4.7 tonnes of used cooking oil from being dumped.
“Winning this Award has given me confidence to storm forward even harder; I am ready to embark on this journey.”
Haroon from Pakistan
Haroon is the founder of Orenda, which teaches children in Pakistan the national curriculum through an engaging digital education model. Its mission is to build a dynamic education model to help young children develop.
Originally set up as a safe place for children living in slums, Orenda has since expanded to various regions across the country. Haroon and his team are now teaching around 1,300 children primarily in rural areas of Pakistan, through a specially developed cartoon series, Taleemabad, which is available on mobile phones and cheap computers. Haroon is also encouraging communities and local governments to make improvements to children’s education in their areas. In recognition of the impact of Orenda’s work so far, one local government has invited the organisation to replicate and scale-up its educational model across its district.
“I’m delighted to have received this Award. Education is an area that needs radical rethinking, especially in the Pakistani context, where millions of children are bereft of a quality education. This is an issue that Orenda cannot solve alone, and I hope that our selection for this Award allows me to build the necessary bridges to expand the work of making engaging, relevant education accessible to every child across the country.”
Hassan from Pakisatn
Hassan uses art to help educate marginalised young people in Pakistan. He is the founder of Discovering New Artists (DNA), which provides free art education, and primary and secondary education, to students unable to afford school fees.
DNA raises money to fund school projects through its initiative, Art for Change, a national child art competition which aims to forge links between young people in privileged and underprivileged communities. Students who can afford to, pay a registration fee to participate in the competition. Their fees are then used to enable a child from a marginalised background to enter for free. Further proceeds from the competition are used to fund other educational projects run by DNA. To date, 11,500 students have participated in the competition and over 5,000 students have benefitted from donations of art materials. Through DNA, Hassan also supports the construction of libraries in under-resourced schools, and funds various college and university student internship and volunteer programmes.
“I am very excited to meet and connect with all the amazing young individuals who are doing great work in their communities, and collaborating with them to make a lasting change through collective action.”